Comic: Earth 2: Society

I’m not going to lie, I only started reading the Earth 2 series because they made the Green Lantern gay. When we’re first introduced to Alan Scott (rich, cute, philanthropic, heartthrob) he’s really gay, we get a kiss scene and everything (not as sexual as midnighter but definitely more romantic). Alas as far as an awesome gay superhero we were still left wanting more. Once Alan Scott takes up the mantle of Green Lantern he becomes some sort of eunuch far too important to ever think about a relationship or sex with a human being who isn’t his dead lover (spoiler his lover died, it happened like almost straight away this is barely a spoiler because as I mentioned, Alan Scott is a loveless, sexless asexual).

Despite this I quite liked the original Earth 2  series, I liked Evil Superman (followed by Black Superman), I like Aquawoman and this version of the flash is cool as balls. Which is why I became invested in the characters storylines and followed it through DC’s universe colliding event (Convergence) and began reading Earth 2:Society.

Post Convergence I guess could be called a kick off for new Earth 2 fans, but as the comic stands now I can’t see how  it would garner any. Our team of heroes are on a new planet, filled with their old cities, trying to rebuild a society and fighting off anything that stands in their way.

There’s some sort of greater story arc, but I can’t figure it out. All of our favourite characters are all dead or so changed from their old selves that they’re basically unrecognisable and I can never tell whether the bad guys are good guys or they’re waiting to double cross or triple cross someone.

It’s a clusterbuck basically, I am continuing to stick with this in an effort to hang on to the thought that maybe Alan Scott will one day not be such an aloof douchebag, and that this story will make sense. In the meantime, stick to the original Earth 2 series and skip Society, I’m sure their next jump on point will make more sense.

Comic: Constantine: The Hellblazer – Ming Doyle

I’ve wanted to love Constantine for a long time, it has all the right ingredients to be amazing; A coarse, attractive, unabashedly bisexual lead, a supernatural chthonic underworld, magic, mystery and grungy rock and roll.

Despite this I’ve only ever felt ambivalent about the series, and I’m sure whether it’s because I feel like I’ve missed too much or whether that’s part of John Constantine’s allure. Even after going back and reading many of the historical issues I felt like I didn’t know John constantine, other than the fact that he tortures himself incessantly over one mistake decades ago.

With the release of the 2015 series of Constantine: The Hellblazer I feel like everyone is on even footing again, whether you know a little, nothing, or a lot, the story makes sense, we’re getting to know John  Constantine, slowly, little by little. The story line in Constantine has always been fresh and unique, and the new series doesn’t fail to live up to this high standard. I think it’s one of my favorite features of this series is that almost anything can happen and I never see it coming.

With less than half a dozen issues out so far, the series has already played around with a huge variety of art styles, and instead of fracturing the storyline it serves to keep reader on their toes never knowing what to expect.

As I mentioned earlier, John Constantine is openly bisexual. I think this variety of sexuality across DC’s lineup of series is fantastically inclusive. While this comic is nowhere near as homocentric as Midnighter, John Constantine is still a wanton coquet with enough men to keep his sexuality authentic.

If you like Supernatural, Buffy, The Dresden Files and other stories in this genre, then Constantine is definitely worth giving a go. Very few people fall in love with it, but I still think it’s a great filler comic to keep you busy.

Comic: Midnighter – Steve Orlando

Midnighter is the kind of comic I wished existed when I was a kid. Then growing up I’ve still always had this thought, why aren’t there more gay superheroes. When I found out there was a gay couple in a DC Comic called Storm Watch I went and read as much of it as possible, even in Storm Watch when Midnighter was just a small part of the story, I felt his story stood out.

This year Midnighter has earned his own comic book series, his marriage is over, all affiliations are over and he has a huge undertaking of his own. In amongst all his ultra violent superheroing he makes time for rebound dates and hook ups.

Midnighter isn’t really a good guy, he’s excessively violent, he’s cocky, shallow, and kind of a slut. Despite that he’s still a unique take on both being gay and being a superhero.

A lot of the big comic houses are doing gay characters, where those characters are gay only in passing and any romantic notions are theoretical, intensely monogamous or just a teenage trist. It’s been interesting to the other side of that, a superhero on Grindr, using his superpowers to woo guys and get laid because while I love the idea of advancement of the idea of homosexuality, I still know a tonne of guys who would do exactly the same thing.

I don’t think we’re in for a long run with this, the comic marginalises too many audiences, while I tout the greatness of this comic as much as I can the character is too unknown to be picked up by many of the gay community, and I don’t imagine a huge portion of the straight Storm Watch community being overly interested in this series for long.

Prove me wrong, go to your local comic book store and pick up a copy, subscribe to the series and keep it going. I know I will.

Comic: Kaptara – Chip Zdarsky

My first encounter with Chip Zdarsky’s work was only fairly recently when he released Sex Criminals. While it was very heterocentric I still found myself laughing along at this weird comic. Before Kaptara came out he was plugging it as a Gayer version of Saga, and as a long standing lover of Saga my interest was piqued.

Kaptara is a fun, whimsical, nonsensical take on the whole space opera genre. I’ve waited for a long time for a comic featuring a gay lead, and that’s exactly what Kaptara has delivered. Keith Kanga (our leading man) is a shallow, cowardly, self obsessed environmental scientist “trapped” on a planet (Kaptara) far far from earth. The story loosely follows him and his adventures in this strange new land filled with strange floating motivational orbs, bird people and cat tanks.

While the art is bright and vibrant (dare I say even camp), the characters are much more than any basic stereotype. The story is still in its infancy and seems to still be looking to get it’s feet but I’m having a lot of fun just reading to see what crazy shenanigans they’ve thought up each issue.

Anyone who read and liked God Hates Astronauts will love Kaptara, they’re very much so alike, although I think Kaptara has a much clearer more linear storyline.

I think the most interesting part of Kaptara is in fact the Planet itself, full of endless possibilities I definitely look forward to seeing where this comic goes and what adventures lie in store for our “hero”.

Comic: The Wicked + The Divine – Kieron Gillen

I’ve always been interested in religion, I see them as a form of storytelling, so I love when the books and comics I read include and work with these old stories and breathe life into them anew.

That’s what The Wicked + The Divine does, it takes a concept like reincarnation and godhood and it brings it into the modern era, add in a splash of drama, a drop of intrigue, an ever present undercurrent of sexual tension and a murder mystery and you have a recipe for a roller coaster comic series that keeps you hanging on for more.

The art is vibrant and the story more than just being interesting is well written. I never see what’s coming around the corner and have been blindsided by the twists on multiple occasions.

As for LGBTQIA inclusion and representation this comic has more than its fair share. The story centres on a Pantheon of roughly a dozen characters (and a supporting cast of at least half a dozen regularly occurring characters ) and of these there’s at least one lesbian, a couple of gay guys, a trans character, bisexuals, pansexuals, you get the point a whole heap of subcultures and minorities are represented. Unsurprisingly for a story that steers away from convention the stereotypes are also pretty well avoided.

Luckily for non-readers this comic book series is being adapted for a television series so my husband and other non comic folk will be be able to enjoy it in its entirety in no time.

Comic: The Private Eye – Brian K. Vaughan

So I’ve just finished The Private Eye. I sat downloaded and read the entire thing in one sitting, it was so thoroughly engrossing. The premise is that in the future nobody trusts the internet or technology so nobody uses it for the most but after having gone through the internet age people had learned and grown accustomed to saying and doing whatever they want behind the smokescreen of a Pseudonym. People are really only themselves at work and home, any where else (clubs, shops, restaurants) people employ their Secret Identities so as to at least feel like they’re cooler, better people than they are (or so I guess, I’m not them who knows why they have these identities).

It sounds weird and the concept and premise was, but the bold bright art and the well told story make this a page turner. I’m only upset that it took me this long to find out about this comic and that it’s over already.

On a side note, a minor facet of the story that resonated with me was their portrayal of gay people in this future. While such a minor part of the comic it was great to see their sexuality woven into the story without being a focus point, as it didn’t need to be.

If you’re looking for a comic to read on a long car trip or for a lazy afternoon definitely pick up The Private Eye